South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Borough awards contracts for sewer work, demolition

 


A new leash law, a borough real estate purchase, and a pavement maintenance plan were among the topics at the April 18 Mt. Oliver council meeting.

Council members President Amber McGough and Vice-president Nick Viglione, and Mayor James Cassidy, were absent.

The meeting was conducted by Councilman Justin Viale.

In the engineer’s report read by Mr. Viale, Gateway Engineers is completing the final design and preparing contract documents for the 2016 pavement maintenance program.

The engineers are also in the process of preparing plans and specifications for the replacement of the remaining sidewalk in the 100-200 blocks of Brownsville Rd.

The demolition of the structure at 151-155 Brownsville Rd. is completed, and Schaaf Excavation and Demolition finalized the backfill of the lot.

In actions, council voted to recommend SHACOG award the sanitary sewer operations and maintenance (O&M) excavation repairs contract to Roto Rooter for $357,903, of which the borough share is $28,380.

Council voted to recommend SHACOG award the O&M sewer lining repairs contract to Robinson Pipe Cleaning Co. for $86,027.50, with a borough share of $7,100.

Council voted to recommend SHACOG award the O&M sewer lining project (manhole-to-manhole lining) to Jet Jack for $217,365, with a borough share of $24,600.

The final action during the engineer’s report was a vote to award the Brownsville Rd. 2016 paving program sewer repair project to Osiris Enterprises for $294,200.

In the fire report for March, there were 41 EMS calls and seven fire calls, with the average arrival time for both being about six minutes.

In the planning report, Deana Wuenschel reported the committee is in the process of finishing the first draft of the borough’s comprehensive plan.

In the code enforcement report from inspector Chuck Knaus for March 11 to April 7, Councilman David Beltz reported there were 34 licenses, 10 citations, 33 violation notices sent; two complaints; and two legal citations.

In code enforcement/planning and zoning, council voted to approve Schaaf Excavating to install a parking lot at 151-155 Brownsville Rd. for $8,600.

Borough manager Rick Hopkinson said permit parking may be installed first, with meters later. But it is undecided at this point.

Council also voted to approve Schaaf Excavating to demolish 184 Ormsby Ave., 156 Penn Ave., 201 Penn Ave., 212 Penn Ave., and 121 St. Joseph St. for $10,500 each.

The company will also demolish a garage at 256 Church Ave. for $2,000. Mr. Hopkinson said the garage is dilapidated, and therefore a public safety hazard.

He said the borough will lien the property, and recoup the money when the house is sold.

In the public safety report for March, Police Chief Matthew Juzwick reported there were 456 calls, 18 domestics, three accidents, eight criminal mischief, and 40 drug-related arrests.

The latter was for the seizure of marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin, and drug paraphernalia.

Six arrest warrants were served.

Council then voted to hire Brett Carb and Karra White as part-time police officers.

In the public works report, council voted to adopt the 2016-2020 pavement maintenance plan prepared by Mr. Hopkinson, and which will shortly be available on the borough website.

In other business, the new “Leash Law” requires dogs be on a leash when not on their owners’ property. Owners may be fined up to $300 for non-compliance.

A Koehler St. resident will be utilizing the lot at 121 Koehler St. as a garden. The borough owns the vacant property, which is maintained by the public works department. The lot is roughly 115-feet by 50-feet.

To concerns about liability and the lot potentially becoming an eyesore, solicitor Deron Gabriel said the borough should have a short-term lease to see if the arrangement works.

In the solicitor’s report, council approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to transfer 101 Brownsville Rd. to the Hilltop Economic Development Corp. (HEDC).

The agreement allows the borough to transfer the property to the HEDC for $1, and the HEDC agrees to market and lease the building.

The HEDC also agrees that upon the sale of the building, the borough will be paid 100 percent of the sale price, less title and transfer fees.

Council also approved the purchase of 225 Brownsville Rd. for $79,900.

Mr. Hopkinson explained the borough needed to acquire the property to get site control to counter the trend of the past year in which property sales on Brownsville Rd. have resulted in storage sites.

He said if the borough can acquire site control, and then work with Economic Development South (EDS) to place solid businesses in the storefronts, lease them a couple of years at a subsidized rate and set them up for success, then the borough is doing something transformative in its commercial district.

In public hearings, former councilman Frank Bernardini asked about the expected completion date for the replacement of gas and water lines in the 100--200 blocks of Brownsville Rd.

Mr. Hopkinson said the road is scheduled to reopen on May 1. The sidewalk replacement will occur in June/July, and the paving will tentatively occur in September.

To Mr. Bernardini’s complaint about loitering in the business district, Chief Juzwick said the police are doing their best to move them along.

Mr. Bernardini reiterated last month’s recommendation that borough officials meet with the county executive and district attorney to inform them the borough cannot absorb any more “freeloaders.” He added that 50 percent are problems, and many pay no taxes.

“The borough cannot absorb any more relocations,” he said.

He concluded by complaining about speeders on Locust St. and Stamm Ave., and the selling of drugs at night in the open on Brownsville Rd.

Another attendee complained about disco lights and music emanating from the KC Castle Diner on some nights at 3 a.m. He said he has also seen youngsters smoking outside of it at 4 a.m., and people entering and exiting the building after 2 a.m.

The restaurant is located in the former Josie’s Restaurant at 160 Brownsville Rd.

Chief Juzwick said, by law, it is supposed to close at 2 a.m. He said Mr. Knaus will cite the owner.

Councilwoman Christina Reft told the resident to continue to call 911 so a record of complaints can be compiled, and Mr. Knaus can continue to cite.

The chief said the noise and music will be addressed, and come to an end.

“If you can hear it at your house, it’s too loud,” he said.

The next council meeting will be on May 16.

 

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